At a conference far, far away—in Indianapolis—Michael McSheehan, SWIFT’s Coordinator of Technical Assistance, used the Force, and the Star Wars movies, to present the evolution of education for students with the most extensive support needs in his keynote address for the Focus on Inclusion Conference, February 21 and 22, 2017.

“The three timeframes of release dates for Star Wars movies, first in the late 1970s, again in the late 1990s and most recently in the mid-2010s, align well with the evolution of policy and practice for teaching students with the most extensive support needs,” McSheehan said. “It provided a fun and engaging way to review our history and look ahead to the future!” The audience enthusiastically went on the journey, tweeting remarks, and relating the keynote to their own personal and professional journeys.

McSheehan presented four other sessions at the Focus on Inclusion Conference, covering such topics as specially designed instruction, including students with significant disabilities, SWIFT’s approach to equity-based inclusive education, and braiding MTSS with special education. Loui Lord Nelson, SWIFT’s UDL specialist, also conducted three sessions on Universal Design for Learning.

McSheehan also made an appearance at the PEAK Conference in Denver, February 9 and 10, 2017. His three sessions discussed including students with significant support needs, what the data say about equity-based inclusive education, and SWIFT’s framework and implementation approach to equity-based inclusion.


Now Playing: Together and Whatever It Takes Discussion Guides

SWIFT recently released discussion guides to accompany two films by SWIFT filmmaker Dan Habib: Together and Whatever It Takes.  Filmed in SWIFT partner schools in Maryland, Mississippi, and Oregon, Together highlights the collaborative nature of inclusive education, while Whatever It Takes documents various strategies educators use to include every child in the general education classroom.

School teams can watch the films and use the accompanying discussion guides to prompt conversations and planning for how practices shown in the films can be applied in their own schools. Discussion guide questions are based on scenes from the films and relate to SWIFT Feature "Inclusive Academic Instruction" and SWIFT Domain "Integrated Educational Framework."

You can view and share Together (24 min.) and Whatever It Takes (22 min.) on the SWIFT You Tube Channel. You can also watch and download the films on Vimeo: Together and Whatever It Takes.  The Together: Discussion Guide and Whatever It Takes: Discussion Guide are available at on SWIFT Shelf.

SWIFT in 2017

SAVE THE DATE: Orange County and Butte County (CA) Offices of Education, home of the Scale Up MTSS Statewide (CA SUMS) initiative, and SWIFT invite you to their Professional Learning Institute: "All Means All" in Costa Mesa, CA, July 26 and 27, 2017. Stay tuned for more information about how to register at this event.

SWIFT Unscripted is a monthly podcast featuring guests from among the SWIFT community.  A transcript link for each SWIFT Unscripted podcast is available at the end of its description. You can listen on SoundCloud or iTunes, or visit the SWIFT Unscripted page to download the podcast to your computer.

In this month’s podcast, Dr. Mary Morningstar shares suggestions and resources for supporting students with disabilities to achieve their post-school goals. Click here to listen. 

SWIFT Talk is SWIFT’s blog where you can find excellent articles from various members of the SWIFT community.

Linda Beitz shares an eye-opening moment she experienced during an Uber ride. Click here to read Uber Interesting – Making My Driver’s Story Obsolete.

Elizabeth Stein shares a tale of two classrooms to illustrate the effect and impact of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Click here to read Co-Teaching with UDL in Mind.

State Spotlight: Mississippi — Dr. Bacardi Mayfield-Harris celebrates new policies, family engagement, and scale-up in Mississippi. Click HERE to read.

Do you like to write and have a story to share about equity-based inclusive education? SWIFT welcomes submissions that advance the practice of equity, excellence, and All Means All. Click here for submission guidelines.

SWIFT Webinars are free, closed captioned, and live on the third Wednesday of every month via Adobe Connect on topics related to SWIFT Domains and Features. Recordings, notes, and transcripts of all webinars can be downloaded from the Webinar section of SWIFT Shelf.

MTSS and PBIS for Families — Kimberli Breen, SWIFT Regional Facilitator, was our webinar host this month, and discussed how to engage families and community members through a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). Applying the three-tiered model to family and community supports at home and school helps to organize the effort and increase effectiveness of interventions. Examples used at home and school for all, some, and few youth and families are shared. Participants went through a reflection of their current family and community-focused efforts. Click here to view the webinar.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming April webinar:

April 19, 2017 (12pm–1pm CT): Lucille Eber: Identifying and Supporting Students with Internalizing Behaviors through Universal Screening Procedures and Evidence-based Interventions

The SWIFT Center produced this document under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H326Y120005. OSEP Project Officers Grace Zamora Durán and Tina Diamond served as the project officers. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. This product is public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be: SWIFT Center. (2017). SWIFT News, Issue 41, March 2017. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center

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